|Despite the somewhat misleading title, this movie does not feature Santa Claus pilfering porridge, sitting in bear chairs or sleeping in bear beds. The three bears of Santa and the Three Bears are an ordinary mother bear and her two cubs, ordinary except for the fact that they can talk to human beings and believe in Santa Claus.
In this animated feature, a kindly Yellowstone forest ranger tells the cubs the story of Santa Claus (kids, don’t try this at your own national park). The youngsters’ curiosity is piqued, and they beg mama bear to let them stay up past hibernation time to wait for Saint Nick. The tired mother asks the ranger to dress up like Santa and make an appearance so the family can get some rest.
Aimed securely at the pre-school set, Santa and the Three Bears hit its mark with a simple, sweet story. The movie was produced and directed by Tony Benedict, who returned to the holiday theme for a pair of TV specials nine years later, Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol and Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales.